IIUM sailing along half a year after Maszlee left as president, say students

Education Minister Maszlee Malik delivers his speech at the International Islamic University Malaysia’s 34th convocation ceremony in Gombak November 10, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
Education Minister Maszlee Malik delivers his speech at the International Islamic University Malaysia’s 34th convocation ceremony in Gombak November 10, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Student groups today said the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is running along smoothly despite its presidential vacancy that followed the exit of Education Minister Maszlee Malik half a year ago.

Ma’ruf Club president Nasriq Tawee said classes and activities are still running as normal, even as students await news of who is to be the next president.

“So far nothing is out of the ordinary, things remain unchanged,” he told Malay Mail.

Nasriq said a potential reason for the delay could be due to the recent installation of Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah as the Ruler of Pahang.

The state monarch is IIUM’s constitutional head.

“It may require some time, but as I am unfamiliar with the selection process of the candidate for president, I am not too sure myself,” he said.

Nasriq added that the students believe the next president could be Islamic finance expert Datuk Mohd Daud Bakar, who had been touted as a candidate as early as January.

“Although he is currently a Shariah adviser for local and international banks, it would make sense as he was formerly an energy academic for the university,” he said.

IIUM Students’ Representative Council president Ahmad Irham Dollah said nothing out of the ordinary has occurred since Maszlee resigned from the post at the end of November last year.

“I just hope that the next president can bring new colour and improvement to IIUM,” he said, when asked whom he felt could become the next president.

A university spokesman said the selection process is still ongoing, and that a statement announcing the new president would be issued once the decision has been finalised.

Maszlee took over as the seventh IIUM president on September 5, 2018 but his appointment was opposed by student groups who reminded the Pakatan Harapan government of its election promise against having a political appointee leading local public universities.